Buster Posey

Top of Giants' lineup again does its part, slugs way past Diamondbacks

Top of Giants' lineup again does its part, slugs way past Diamondbacks

PHOENIX -- The most important thing is that Joe Panik looks the part.

Everyone knows that if you pull up your socks, you immediately look faster, and with his black socks tugged up to his knees Saturday night, the Giants second baseman strolled to the plate in the first inning looking like your typical leadoff hitter.

The second-most important thing is that Panik is playing the part.

He reached base three times, raising his on-base percentage to .342 and extending his streak to 16 consecutive games with a hit or walk. On this night, he had both, with a hit and two walks, while hitting leadoff for a Giants lineup that did what you should against a struggling pitcher.

The Giants knocked Zack Godley out early and cruised to an 8-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Eight players had a hit. Seven players drove in a run. There were productive outs and guys tagging up all over the place.

"I thought there was a sense of urgency early, and it kind of permeated," Giants center fielder Steven Duggar said.

Lately, the production has started at the top. Buster Posey was finding his swing before a concussion, and he has stayed hot since, with two more hits Saturday. Duggar has settled into the No. 2 spot. Ahead of them both, Panik has been a steady presence. He has raised his OBP by 73 points in the last two weeks after a slow start.

"The quality of the at-bats, he just looks comfortable up there," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's quiet. He's not making a lot of early outs. He looks like he's seeing the ball.

"I said it's just a matter of time before these guys get going. Joe looked really good in the spring."

That didn't immediately carry over, but it has here in May. The key to taking advantage is for the guys behind Panik, and behind Duggar and Posey, to come through in big spots, and on Saturday, they did.

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The Giants kept the line moving, which they absolutely must do. And then in the end, there was a little pop, which they absolutely need away from Oracle Park. Brandon Belt hit his seventh homer of the season, and Pablo Sandoval had a pinch-hit shot, his sixth in limited time.

"It's nice to start him, but when he doesn't start, it's nice to have him come off the bench," Bochy said of Sandoval, smiling. "You look across the offense, and he's been the silver lining."

Buster Posey plans 'on doing my job' as catcher after second concussion

Buster Posey plans 'on doing my job' as catcher after second concussion

DENVER -- Buster Posey has dealt with some major injuries in his career, but up until recently, he has avoided the issue that has set back other marquee catchers. 

Posey never had real concussion concerns until 2017, and even then he missed just seven games after taking a fastball off the helmet during a game against the Diamondbacks in early April. But on Sunday, Posey took another foul tip against the Reds, and again he is on the 7-day concussion list.

The questions will again start to be asked about how much longer Posey should continue to catch. He acknowledged Thursday that he will spend part of his time on the concussion list talking to doctors and doing additional research about the effects of concussions. 

"When you're dealing with the brain, you've got to be cautious," he said. "I definitely value who I am and will be as a husband and father, first and foremost. At the same time, I enjoy doing my job and plan on doing my job."

Posey plans on doing it soon. He said the symptoms this time are similar to what he dealt with two years ago, and he is optimistic that he will return to the lineup next week. 

Posey actually played a game Tuesday after the concussion, but he said he didn't quite feel right. He had a scheduled off day Wednesday and when that game was postponed by rain, he got checked out, confirming that he had suffered a concussion Sunday. 

"I felt like I should have felt more normal than this after three days," Posey said. 

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He already was working to get back quickly, doing conditioning work Thursday morning to get his heart rate up. Posey will be eligible to return next Wednesday, but the Giants are off Thursday, so that could give them an extra cushion.

In the meantime, manager Bruce Bochy said Stephen Vogt and Aramis Garcia, recalled Thursday, will split time behind the plate. Erik Kratz is eligible to come off the Injured List on Saturday and the staff is currently deciding what to do with him. If Posey needs to miss extended time, it seems likely that Kratz would take Garcia's spot. 

Giants place Buster Posey, Drew Pomeranz on injured list before Rockies game

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USATSI

Giants place Buster Posey, Drew Pomeranz on injured list before Rockies game

DENVER -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy hinted Wednesday that a roster move might be coming. It turned out to be a big one. 

Catcher Buster Posey was placed on the 7-day concussion list and the club recalled catcher Aramis Garcia from Triple-A Sacramento before Thursday's game. In a second move, left-hander Drew Pomeranz was placed on the Injured List with a strained lat and the Giants activated right-hander Tyler Beede, who was already in Denver as part of the taxi squad.

This is the second time in three years that Posey has been put on the concussion list. He took a fastball to the helmet in April of 2017 and sat out seven games, and at time time Posey said he was thinking about his future. 

“When you’re dealing with the head, you have to use caution,” he said back then. “It’s different than the hip or knee. I feel this is the right move. I don’t take it lightly when you’re talking about the head. It’s bigger than baseball. You’ve seen some of the stuff people have dealt with late in life, and that comes into consideration.”

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It was unclear what happened to put Posey on the list this time, but he did take a few foul balls off the mask over the past week, although he never came out of a game. 

Pomeranz is coming off his worst start as a Giant and has a 5.93 ERA through seven appearances. The Giants had wanted to get a second look at Beede, anyway, and now it will happen quickly, likely on Sunday.